China Won’t Share the Samples of a Deadly New Virus – H7N9

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Disease spreads easily through a country, and past outbreaks are proof that scientists that were prepared for the new strain knew better how to treat patients.

Despite China and the US differences, when it came to medicine, the countries collaborated to be prepared for any incoming outbreak. However, things seem to have changed lately, now that China will not share the samples of a deadly new virus strain with scientists or officials in the US.

According to a report in the New York Times, China has samples of a new strain of avian flu – the H7N9. The virus is very dangerous and it can easily spread through a population, especially if not prepared. US officials have made repeated requests, but China does not seem too interested in helping US study the new strain.

Considering that both the US and China are part of the WHO and have been sharing medical knowledge and samples for years, this last disagreement might have deadly consequences. Usually, the countries would swap samples from the new strain to one another so that they can study them, assess the risks and find ways to action if the virus would start spreading.

Trade Tensions Affect Medical Communities

With US and China citizens traveling to each other’s shores, both countries should make sure that the disease is not spread through travel. But trade tensions between China and the US could have a negative impact on the medical communities, and Chinese researchers are left with no other choice than holding back vital samples and knowledge.

H7N9 is a deadly strain of bird flu that has also killed hundreds of humans in China. Out of more than 750 confirmed human cases, half of them died. The US has recently requested samples from China but didn’t receive any answers, and organizations that want to study the disease will have to wait and hope they can get some good news.

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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